Last week, more than 40 of the American Library Association’s 57 state and regional chapters signed a joint statement opposing the pricing and licensing terms that publishers and distributors have established for the sale of ebooks to libraries.
“Libraries, like other consumers, should be free to buy any published e-content at competitive prices, to keep these items in their collection, and to loan them to their patrons,” reads a portion of the statement. “Anything less violates basic democratic principles of a free market, freedom of speech, and equitable access. If financial barriers are removed in libraries, all citizens would have equal access to this material.”
It continues: “The Indiana Library Federation is in agreement with the Montana Library Association, which asks publishers of e-content to place libraries on a level playing field with other consumers of e-content. The cooperative relationship among publishers, authors, distributors, and agents must be restored.”
ALA President Maureen Sullivan commented, “This joint statement underscores how critical this issue is for the public. Librarians across the country daily face questions from their readers about why access to ebooks is restricted. ALA fully supports this grassroots effort.”